Letter: Regarding service standards and Base Village | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Regarding service standards and Base Village

Regarding service standards and Base Village

Comments on Mel Blumenthal’s Jan. 28 Snowmass Sun article:

Mel, while I have never met you, I have read your articles in the Sun over the years and for the most part agree with your views. However, this time I believe that you made an error when you inferred that some of our local businesses have a good deal of work ahead of them to meet the high-level service standards set at other ski resorts and our own Aspen Skiing Co. as if all businesses in these “other” ski resorts exceed those of Snowmass.

Simply put, I respectfully disagree. You go on to name specific businesses that in your estimation deliver high-quality service. Everybody is entitled to their own views and measurement standards, but you have indirectly lumped together all unnamed businesses in this article as ones that “don’t quite measure up to quality standards set by these establishments.”

This, in my opinion, is undeserved, as there are most certainly other businesses in Snowmass that provide a high standard of service. One in particular that comes to mind is a business that many of us in the community call the best-kept secret in Snowmass, and it is the Little Mammoth Steakhouse. If you have not visited this business, maybe you should try it on your next visit. It went through a major renovation to the bar and eating area before this season opened. The fare and quality rival any establishment in Snowmass. My wife is particularly fond of its fried avocado and smoked salmon (it smokes its own) bruschetta appetizers and its Snowmass salad, which is a meal unto itself. As for me, some of my favorites in the main-course selections are the Jager schnitzel, the daily fresh fish offerings and, lastly, the dry aged bone or boneless ribeye steak served on a salt block (these are aged in the restaurant’s own coolers for a minimum of 28 days), which are spot-on.

Changing the subject to Base Village, Skico and the then-developer, working with the then-Town Council, delayed the vote until Skico had all its employees in for the season to vote, which is history now, and we are stuck with trying to make the best of what is now looming on the horizon. As for what I think of as “developer basic 101” in this area, I will expect Related and Skico’s new plans to contain a whole litany of white herrings to be sacrificed (i.e., given up) as the review or vetting process goes forth before the Town Council and town planners.

It will be interesting to see what shakes out as this process goes forward. Related and Skico’s primary interest is to make as much profit as quickly as possible, and the town’s leaders’ interest should be to do what is in the best interests of the town and its residents. Related and Skico will push fractional and full ownership, as this is the quickest way to get their money out and make the profit they desire. Hotels take many, many years before they become profitable. A current piece of the new proposal for Base Village being discussed is the community aqua center, which appears to be evolving into something other than what was intended in the original approved Base Village plan — different location, downsized, and a free amenity only to those who are owners of Base Village units or hotel guests. As for the rest of the community, it appears to be on the daily-fee or yearly-membership-only amenity.

Tom Catlin

Snowmass Village

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